On July 11, 1863 draft riots broke out in New York City. New York had been economically tied to the south before the war, and the mayor had called for the city's secession. A large part of the population was Irish immigrants, who did not want the slaves freed as they would enter the competition for the low paying jobs that the Irish were already having trouble finding.
When the February law began to be implemented riots quickly broke out. Crowds formed, smashing windows, cutting telegraph wires, lighting fires, and hunting down free blacks. All available troops had been sent to join the army, so the only forces available to fight the riot were the police. They were too weak to keep the rioters under control. The police superintendent himself was attacked by the mob and badly wounded. When the mob went after the offices of the New York Tribune, a Republican paper, the staff repelled the rioters with Gatling guns. The mob continued to look for blacks, lynching some and burning their houses and businesses.
|The army attacks|
Meanwhile, Lincoln had to call back troops from the army to put down the riot. The New York militia and several regiments of Federal troops made a forced march to the city. After a little fighting they were able to stop the riot over the next two days. The casualties had been very heavy for a riot. It is estimated at least 120 civilians were killed and 2,000 wounded. At least 11 blacks were lynched. 50 buildings were burnt and $1 - $5 million of dollars of damage done. The draft was resumed without further protest, and turned out to be not as bad as had been anticipated. Of the 750,000 selected only 45,000 went into the service.